public policy


If you’re looking for a programme to catapult your ambitions of entering the area of public policy and decision making at the highest level, then the Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC) could be the need of the hour. Founded by Harvard and Oxford alumni Rohit Kumar and Aparajita Bharti, YLAC goes beyond conventional modes of learning in giving participants hands on experience of working with different Members of Parliament (MPs) and being active agents of change.


YLAC believes in drawing confluence over different aspects of citizenship and equips participants with the means to better understand the working of the society and its institutions.‘YLAC’s prime motivation is to draw active citizens towards policy research and advocacy, this can be successfully achieved through the blend of theory and practice.’ claims Aparajita who is also a PRS Legislative alumnus. The organisation started in June 2016 with its school level programme – High School Achievers Programme. The programme entailed a 21 day skill development workshop in the form of a boot camp at the end of which students were attached to different participating NGOs.


An ongoing programme of YLAC named Policy in Action is meant for university students and young professionals. The programme, spread over a month starting from 24th September, will equip participants with the know-how of legislation and policy making. At the end of the programme, participants will be deputed with various MPs to act as their assistants for a brief period. This year’s participating MPs include – Anurag Singh Thakur ( Lok Sabha), Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda (Lok Sabha), Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo (Lok Sabha), M V Rajeev Gowda (Rajya Sabha), Supriya Sule (Lok Sabha) and Tathagata Satpathy (Lok Sabha).YLAC’s next Policy in Action programme is set to launch in the early part of next year.

Having received multiple requests from Bangalore and Mumbai, YLAC also plans on expanding its operations to the metropolitan cities. The organisation also has a diverse Board of Advisors which includes Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda (MP – Lok Sabha), Shashi Tharoor (MP – Lok Sabha) and Michael Walton (Harvard Kennedy School).

Image Credits: Rohit Kumar

Sidarth Yadav

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Public policy as a field of research, study and analysis is finding takers now more than ever. Public policy is no longer about the government’s actions: it is equally about the reaction to those actions, about journalists evaluating those actions, about the societal consequences of policy decisions. In short, public policy is a multi-dimensional discipline.

  1. Public policy Challenges in the 21st century

This course will help you develop analytical skills to assess policy proposals. Professor Gerry Warburg at the University of Virginia teaches the course, and it encompasses sub-topics like, “The Media and Changing Nature of Politics”, “Healthcare Systems and Insurance Markets” among others. The course discusses the societal and political repercussions of the challenges facing the policymakers. There’s one catch though:  the course has an inclination towards the U.S. economy and society. However, that doesn’t impede one’s learning.

Where to enroll? Coursera

  1. Ethics and Public Policy

Often, public policy requires the redistribution of resources, denial of rights or privileges, or promotion of one group at the expense of another. At such critical decision-making junctures, one cannot compromise ethics. Such situations essentially lead to dilemmas. This course focuses on the ethical aspect of public policy.

Where to enrollSaylor.org

  1. Journalism for social change

The course curriculum states that it has been “designed for students who are interested in the intersection of public policy, journalism and social sciences and who are looking to use their expertise and careers to drive positive social change.” The course teaches how journalism can be used as an implement of social change and how one can become an effective change agent. The instructor for the course is Daniel Heimpel, Lecturer U.C. Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.

Where to enrolledX.org

  1. Measuring Causal Effects in the Social Sciences

Yet another offering from Coursera, this course provided by the University of Copenhagen is for you if you have some experience with statistics and familiarity with causal inference and social sciences. This course looks at the quantitative aspect of public policy and decisions thereof.

Where to enroll? Coursera


Kritika Narula

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With Public Policy courses increasing in demands, here are a few institutions to ponder upon:


University of Oxford-Blavatnik School of Government

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is a one-year course wherein a student is exposed to the following curricula for a better understanding and implementation of public policy. The course includes 6 papers namely Foundations, Economics for Public Policy, The Organization and Practice of Government, Science and Public Policy, Law and Public Policy and Policy Evaluation. High-level policy makers and academicians also share with their experiences of real world problems and policies. Along with the practically-oriented modules, there are also compulsory and optional professional skills sessions. In the third term, there is an option to pursue two models of personal interest, and a summer project with an organization.

The standard set of materials one should send with any application are:

  • a personal statement, of no more than 800 words
  • a CV/résumé
  • three academic references
  • official transcripts detailing university-level qualifications and marks to date
  • one 1,500-word academic essay on a pressing policy issue of applicant’s interest.

For more details, visit: http://www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/


St. Xavier’s College-Autonomous- University of Mumbai

The MPP course launched in 2013 due to the dearth of public policy courses in India, will see its first batch complete the course by June 2015. Each semester over the two years will see the students study atleast three Core and atleast one Elective subjects, except the first semester where one has to study four Core subjects, namely Public Policy Analysis, Dynamics Of Public Policy, Economic Analysis and Public Policy, Research Methodology. Between the second and third semester, one compulsory internship is required with organizations involved in public policy.

Applicant must apply online through this form: https://www.nopaperforms.com/student_registration.php?ins=MTMyNA==&is=app

For more information, check: http://xaviers.edu/main/index.php/public-policy1


TERI University

It offers the programme Masters in Arts in Public Policy and Sustainable Development. The two-year programme is a comprehensive and well-structured two-year curriculum on public policy formulation, analysis, evaluation, management, and links with development concerns.The programme started in 2006 with the support of the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India, was one of the firsts in India. The programme includes core courses, select modules in foreign universities and a major project over four semesters. Some of the courses are Public policy processes and institutions, Organisational behaviour, Society, Development and Social Policy etc.

To know how to apply, visit http://www.teriuniversity.ac.in/how-to-apply. The university gives a detailed report for the application procedure.


Harvard Kennedy School

A two-year programme in Master in Public Policy features the Core Curriculum consisting of policy analysis, economics, management and leadership, empirical analysis, negotiation, ethics, and politics. The first year culminates in a Spring Exercise. The course also offers a Policy Analysis Exercise a client-driven, often team-based practicum that also offers elective subjects. The programme is carried out by case study method, or lecture-based method, or a mixture of both.

The applicant must fill an online form: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/admissions/apply Complete application must consist:

  • submitted online application
  • payment of the $100 application fee
  • essays (logon to the application to view essay topics)
  • traditional resume/CV
  • some programs require an additional analytic/quantitative resume, for other programs it is optional
  • three letters of recommendation
  • official academic transcripts, and
  • standardized tests: GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS. We do not accept/require GRE subject tests, we only review the general test. (test requirements may vary by program; see online application instructions for details)

National Law School of India University, Bangalore

A two-year course in master in Public Policy that is divided into three trimesters, this course is credit based and involves subjects like Political Economy of India, Policy Analysis and Clinic, Public Administration among others. The course programme also involves optional courses, filed work, international exposure, internship, seminars and a dissertation.

The candidate has to appear for a Policy Aptitude Test, upon clearing which one will be eligible for  a Personal Interview. The candidate can apply both offline and online.

For offline application, visit http://mpp.nls.ac.in/pdf/mppapplnform.pdf

For online application, visit http://mpp.nls.ac.in/apply-now-application.php


Jindal School of Government and Public Policy- O.P. Jindal Global University

The school offers MA in Public Policy with a 60 credits criterion under which there will be some core courses, elective courses, dissertation, policy action workshop and brief, and an internship report. The two-year long programme can be taken up either in a residential or a non-residential course format.

To apply, register and download from http://admissions.jgu.edu.in/jsgpadmissions/

You can visit the website at http://jsgp.edu.in/


Featured image credits: http://www.uic.edu

Ayesha Sareen

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